Sheffield side eyes win over the Pennines

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Stocksbridge Park Steels travel to take on an out-of-sorts Ashton United that presents the Bracken Moor club with the opportunity to pick up three precious points in their bid to climb out of the drop zone.

Steels won the corresponding fixture 3-2 towards the end of last season in their successful fight against relegation, and despite Ashton having won just once in 11 outings in league and cup manager Darren Schofield is cautious.

“It will be a tough game for us,” insisted Schofield. “They are a big strong side that usually does very well at home.

“We battled hard to win there last season at a time when we were on a good run so hopefully we can do the same again and come away with the three points.”

Stocksbridge have been hit with injuries over the past few weeks and Schofield is looking forward to having a fully fit squad again in the near future. He said; “We’re still struggling a bit on the injury front.

Alex Callery is back doing light training so isn’t far away from returning but Ben Scott is struggling with a hamstring problem.

Chris Bettney has been out with illness and Will Senior is suspended.

“But on the plus-side Nathan Joynes is back from suspension and Andy Ring looks like being fit after a slight niggle.”

Stocksbridge go into the game eight-points adrift of the safety mark after last weekend 2-1 home loss against Rushall Olympic and know they can ill-afford for the gap to increase if they are to claw themselves out of trouble.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Worksop Town should consolidate their place in the play-off places with a win over rock bottom Droylsden at Sandy Lane.

The Tigers have won five of the last season lifting them to fourth in the table, while Droylsden are without a win in 19 league starts.

Frickley Athletic go to promotion hopefuls AFC Fylde in search of a fourth win in the last five outings.

Matlock Town can expect a big crowd for the visit of play-off rivals FC United of Manchester, while Buxton travel to next to bottom Stafford Rangers as Martin McIntosh’s side look to keep on the tails of the top five

Jack Waddle could start for Sheffield FC at high-riding Mickleover Sports after rejoining the club for a second spell from BK Sports in Sweden. The winger had a successful spell on loan with Club whilst with Chesterfield last season but was released by the Spireites last summer.

Whitehorne is delighted to have him back at the club and believes there is every chance he could return to the professional game. “He did ever so well in his previous spell with us said, the Sheffield boss “You couldn’t fault his attitude and work rate it was first class, he’s a great lad and got on very well with everyone in the dressing.

“If he gets his head down and works hard there is always the chance to get back in the pro game.

Whitehorne is looking for his team to bounce back from the disappointment of going out of the FA Trophy but face a stern test against a Mickleover side fourth in the table and with just two defeats in the last 12 league games.

“They’re a good side but then again we have a good away record so it should be an interesting one,” he said

Fixtures Saturday: Prem Division: Fylde v Frickley, Ashton v Stocksbridge, Matlock v FC United of Manchester, Stafford v Buxton, Worksop Town v Droylsden. Division One South: Mickleover Sports v Sheffield FC.